The Big Push, a dynamic band that emerged from Brighton’s thriving busking scene, made waves. They met as buskers and continued to grow their audience by busking and posting videos of their street performances online. Such was the buzz that developed around them, that the turnout for their street shows increased every time they played.
The Big Push played both covers and their own songs, except their covers tended to be radically rearranged takes on the original. With influences ranging from The Libertines to The White Stripes, The Black Keys & The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the Big Push developed their own innovative sound. Below is their re-imagined Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff”.
If you are a reggae purist, The Big Push’s cover of Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff is not for you. The band tease the song apart and reconstruct it as an expansive guitar-driven rock song. The closest The Big Push comes to roots reggae is when they sound a bit like The Police in the chorus. Ash5 captures the tenor of the YouTube comments: “Not a cover! A masterpiece” Rohit Fusion adds “Crunchiest & Grooviest Sheriff cover ever. Bob must be proud of this. That right there is a supreme tele tone”.
The Big Push was a four-piece band comprised of Ren (bass & singing on “Sheriff”), Romain Axisa, Gorran Kendall and drummer Glenn Chambers. Ren, Roman, and Goran shared frontman duties. Videos of the band busking went viral, which lead to the band playing proper gigs, starting with a sold-out show at Chalk, Brighton, in 2019. Here is The Big Push’s most popular video (10m views). It is a sprawling take of the spiritual Wade in the Water which leads into Vera Halls’s Trouble So Hard.
In March 2020, The Big Push headlined a full-house concert at O2 Academy, Islington. Building on the momentum, the band released their six-track debut EP Can Do Will Do, with Watch Out as the featured track. By October, the EP had 1 Million streams on Spotify.
In 2021, the band set off on a sold-out tour of the UK. In September the band was forced to cut short the second half of its tour when two band members tested positive for Covid19. In September 2022 the band played it’s biggest venue yet, The Brighton Dome.
Shortly before the concert, the band announced that it would be their last concert show. They cited being in different countries, personal matters (Ren suffers from Lyme disease) and the vagaries of life. They continued “To have gone from best friends playing out on the streets for fun, to one of the most well-known busking bands in the world in a few short years is something we are immensely proud of, and we will carry each adventure and experience it gave us forever”.
The Big Push busked together on the streets of Brighton for the last time on 14 Dec 2022. Ren and Romain Axisa have subsequently released solo songs, which can be found on The Big Push Facebook page and on streaming services.